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Extreme Couponing


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#91

Persnickety13

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Posted Dec 31, 2010 @ 10:55 PM

[I have a snarky comment. One of the piles of boxes was of "facial stuff." But does she use any of it? Hmmm?]


PolkaDotty Lulz, I thought the same exact thing, followed by, "I hope it's oil control." Girl had one big shiny-assed face and I don't think it was the "glow" induced by makeup. Looked more like an oil slick. I thought she just looked kinda dirty/unkempt. Kind of like you just KNEW a major housecleaning took place before filming because the house hadn't seen a proper cleaning in ages.
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#92

HandBanana

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Posted Dec 31, 2010 @ 11:15 PM

You mean the first lady, right? I also thought she looked rather unkempt.
WRT all the toiletries - I'm sure I'm not the only one who only likes certain beauty products, so I don't know how these people can stand to use and hoard whatever products give out coupons most frequently.
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#93

Persnickety13

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Posted Dec 31, 2010 @ 11:26 PM

HandBanana Yes, the first lady...She just looked oily and sweaty and disheveled. I agree with the poster above - How repulsive it was to see her meaty claws grappling all of those candy bars and cookies and shoveling them into her cart as quickly as possible. Don't get me wrong, it's not just because she was overweight (I could lose a good 20 myself so no judgment here). It was just the combination of her epitomizing the stereotypical obese person - Oily, sweaty, disheveled, unkempt, and just...DIRTY. She was just all kinds of nasty, IMO.

Edited by Persnickety13, Dec 31, 2010 @ 11:27 PM.

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#94

kitkat4

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Posted Jan 1, 2011 @ 12:29 AM

Nathan has a website weusecoupons.com and a youtube frugaltv..naturally, the website is all about how to coupon and save lots of money. Amanda is a member and he also interviews her on youtube giving tips on how she does her couponing. Nathan gives his list on what he bought on the TLC shopping trip complete with which stuff was ordered through the store ahead of time and says the producers asked the stores to put a lot of the preordered things on the shelves for the show. He also says which items were donated. Amanda says on one of the youtube clips that she donates about 30% of her stockpiled stuff to friends, family , foodbanks,ect. Who knew you could have a grocery strore order you cases of things so you can get them for free or practially free? So much for my 1 or 2 free items. I am clearly an amatuer at couponing!(and I have way too much free time to have looked at all of this).
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#95

moreorlessnu

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Posted Jan 1, 2011 @ 5:18 PM

No, there are legitimate clipping services. A lot of the Ebay ones are scams. The real clippers have their own websites and you order through them just like any other online retailer. If she'd (can't keep the names straight - the first hoarder) used Ebay, there's no way she would've gotten what she needed in time.


I googled coupon clipping services, and looked at a few of them. It seems they charge a .08 to .10 handling fee per coupon. It makes sense to purchase coupons at this price to get boxes of pasta for free, especially if the pasta will not ultimately go to waste (i.e., consumed by the family, donated to a food pantry, etc.). However, it boggles the mind to go through this time and expense for 150 candy bars. Even on sale, a box of pasta is at least $1.00 but candy bars go on sale for much lower than that. Plus, as others have mentioned, the nutritional value of a candy bar is pretty low, regardless of what you pay for it. Even if Amanda donates all those candy bars, the money she spent on those coupons probably could have been put toward purchasing coupons for more nutritious food. If the coupons for more nutritious food cost more than coupons for candy bars (I don't know the exact $$; I'm just guessing), it still would be a better use of time and money to get (for example), 70 boxes of pasta to donate versus 150 candy bars. I imagine some food pantry worker shaking their head over all those candy bars, and thinking of all the produce/tuna/soup/pasta/dairy that money could have been put towards.


Why do you say that a lot of the ebay coupon services are scams?

Edited by moreorlessnu, Jan 1, 2011 @ 5:20 PM.

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#96

Nena

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Posted Jan 1, 2011 @ 5:25 PM

Why do you say that a lot of the ebay coupon services are scams?


Often, by the time you pay for them, they process your payment, and then they get around to mailing them to you, half of them are expired. Others are "stolen" from the packaging of products in stores - the peel off kind. Only instead of buying the package and peeling it off, they peel off all the ones they can see in the store. I'm sure there probably are some reputable ebayers out there, but there are enough scammers that you're taking a gamble.
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#97

aliyameadow

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Posted Jan 1, 2011 @ 8:21 PM

I will share this tale of caution I read regarding bulk buying-especially toilet paper. An elderly gentleman kept buying toilet paper-when he passed away, his "heirs" were dismayed to find most of the tissue was falling off the rolls in bits. All his bargain hunting turned out to be a waste of money because it was stored too long.


Well, this toilet paper hoarder has learned something new! I tend to buy and store a lot of toilet paper, paper towels, and such because we get such bad weather, sometimes you can't really get out for awhile and no one wants to be cooped up in the house with no toilet paper.

I get notice of coupons via email (using the 'grocery game' coupon sites). This works pretty well for me, but there's a lot of stuff that I never buy. I think that if you're willing to use store brands for at least some of your shopping, you'll get a good deal - if you aren't planning to hoard 100 boxes of the item. For example, at least for my small family, the 10 for $10 sales are good deals. The extreme couponing and plans like the grocery game don't work too well for small families; it's just too much stuff or stuff we don't use. I just try to catch a sale. One of the hints that I did pick up was to let the sale be your meal planning guide - if you were planning to have spaghetti but it was $5, for example, but a rotisserie chicken is $3, get the chicken (screwy prices, but you get the picture). Then you aren't confronted with a sale item and decide not to buy because it wasn't on your menu plan.

I looked on TLC but don't see the show listed yet; I'm going to have to remember it 'cause this show sounds like a doozy. And yeah - I think for some of these folks 'couponing' is just hoarding with good PR.
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#98

Aarond23

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Posted Jan 1, 2011 @ 9:18 PM

I saw the show today...I have no problem with stocking up on practical things.

The only time I would advise stocking up on candy bars would be around Halloween...outside of that 150 candy bars is out of control for anyone, just alot of empty calories, not worth it even for free.

The first lady did seem the most disturbed of any of them, as if it had become way too serious to her, almost like materalism run amok, she just wanted to stock up because she can.

She must not have done this 'massive haul' type of trip before because she didn't know that her 1,000 items would blow up the registers at the grocery store.

I just don't have the time or energy to do it, but I don't see anything wrong with it, if you don't get obsessed.
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#99

buttermlksundae

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Posted Jan 1, 2011 @ 11:59 PM

I know they set some stuff up for their "big haul" to be on the show, but I think my main problem is that they take EVERYTHING! I mean, imagine if you just went to get some pasta or salad dressing, and the whole shelf was cleared. I have read some of the blogs regarding coupon etiquette and I guess that is a problem, not just something I thought of. Apparently some of these extreme couponers completely clear the shelves and it just seems greedy, buying stuff that you don't need and won't use just to say "f you" to the store only hurts the other shoppers. They can use their "early bird gets the worm" defense but it's hard to play against someone that plans this a year in advance. Also, I read that Nathan would sell his booty on e-bay (just took it down when the show aired) and that is how he got out of debt. I doubt he paid taxes on any of the things he sold and that pisses me off even more! My hubby and I pay a lot of taxes, this month we have to pay 4k, and tax evaders piss me off. These people (with the exception of Joyce and Joanie) seem just greedy and gluttonous jerks.
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#100

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Posted Jan 2, 2011 @ 12:06 AM

I thought of Nathan tonight! Stopped at my local grocer for a large bag of shredded mozzerella cheese and it was completely cleared out. I thought - oh no! A hoarder - oops, I mean extreme couponer got here first!

I will watch the show when it airs again. It is interesting. And amusing.
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#101

beezer

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Posted Jan 2, 2011 @ 12:42 AM

My LDS neighbor has 365 days worth of food for a family of six in her garage and she has a system to regularly cook using it. I believe every month she has 5-6 meals rotated in from the stockpiled food so she'll complete her stored food in about 3 yrs.

That's why I think the Ohio/Ca. hoarder was just a hoarder like the first one. She was all about this one time, they used stuff from the hoard. Which, to me, implied that they don't usually. It just didn't seem like she meant it like they always do and that time it was good because they could use more of it or not shop at all and live off it - it seemed like 'once, when we had to, we used something from it.'

Combined with the moving it (even if it's moved by the government, someone is paying to move that crap and it's just stupid to move it and not to have used it and saved money before they moved - like WHY move it, why not 'start over?' if the goal isn't the hoard itself and not saving money), I think she was just a hoarder.
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#102

CaffeineJunkie

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Posted Jan 2, 2011 @ 12:43 AM

Serious question, but why are LDS people known for "stockpiling" their food? Is it for religious reasons? Money reasons?

Amanda seemed just...nasty. Like seriously, look at yourself in the mirror. You do not need hundreds of candy bars and an endless supply of pasta. A vegetable wouldn't kill you.

This seems like gluttony mixed with OCD, mixed with hoarding tendencies.

I mean, I get it. I have little hoardes/stockpiles of things like makeup and candles, but I actually use them every day and I won't buy new stuff unless I run out of something. Otherwise, what is the point of having so many if you don't actually use them?

Edited by CaffeineJunkie, Jan 2, 2011 @ 12:47 AM.

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#103

wormlegs

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Posted Jan 2, 2011 @ 11:33 AM

This show was endlessly fascinating to me. I worked for a company that makes processed food, and I was the person at the company who determined when to send out coupons, what value, and what circulation (what newspapers). I can safely say extreme couponers never entered our consciousness.

Re:double couponing - most areas of the country do not double coupon, or if they do it is very limited (certain day of the week, certain dollar max, spending threshhold). The northeast, particularly the NYC/Philly area, is the hotbed for doubling with the fewest restrictions. As a manufacturer, we would take into account the extra redemption cost for the northeast (passed on to the manufacturer, ultimately, not a gift to you from Shop Rite). But when we calculated total national redemption rates, we were generally in the 1% range - meaning, if we put out 100 coupons, we expected 1 to be used. There are heavier redemption rates for things like coupons on the package already or during the recession of 2008-2009.

Re: special orders - I was shocked the store would do this, and that the manufacturer would be kosher with this. One of the big things we always kept in mind was "diverting" - or the idea that people could ultimately buy the product cheaper than what the manufacturer sold it for. So if we sold a widget for 50 cents, and the grocery store sold it for $1, and someone could get a special order that would have 1000 for essentially free, they could sell it for 30 cents and undercut the manufacturer's price. There have been some cases about this in the past - I think with Levi's jeans and Costco years ago.

Re: coupons on healthy stuff - to get a coupon funded, you need to have a reason or some financial backing. So branded products typically have dedicated marketing budgets to handle this. If you cannot name a brand of raw potatoes or carrots, then you know why they are not ever on coupon - but Ore Ida potatoes presumably have coupons. You might also get coupons for the bagged salads vs. raw lettuce. You do see rarely coupons for staples - flour, butter, sugar, etc are commodities but are branded. (Also, as a total aside and nitpick - if you buy flour in a store, then you do eat processed food. I get annoyed when I hear people slag on processed food but talk about using flour, sugar, salt, butter - all of which are processed. Unless you grind/churn your own, in which case I
apologize.)

Re: stockpiling - many of my friends who work for a big flour manufacturer keep their flour in the freezer. There are absolutely bugs that can live in already processed food so if you don't use it quickly (within a few months) or keep it airtight, I would put it in the freezer. The storage room in the garage made me want to hurl - maybe because I always have vague creepy crawlies in my garage.

Re: stores over ordering: both manufacturers and retailers have sophisticated supply chain systems that theoretically should prevent a routine order of 1000 boxes because of a one-time deal. That will generally get flagged in the system. Also, 1000 boxes looked like 1-2 pallets - for a store like Kroger that is not a huge overage to have to manage. Many chains allow you to look at store level data to see any ordering anomalies - for example, we know that a coupon is dropping on 1/2 across all Krogers, and 800 Krogers sell an extra 50 boxes and 1 Kroger sells 1000, that will show up in the system. Also, there are many stores that have calculated the level at which being out of stock of an item is better than being in inventory - because the potential lost sales value is lower than the carrying costs of the excess inventory the store has to carry. So it is not all Nathan and Amanda! Lastly, if a store does order excess product, the chain will come back to the manufacturer for $ to help mark it down - we know this and build this into our pricing. Not all chains do that (they take the risk on markdowns in exchange for a lower up front price).

The best way to save money on coupons is to do it like that women from Philly - if you use coupons for stuff that you won't buy anyway, then it's not $5 saved, it's $10 spent that could have been used elsewhere. I have a huge stockpile of certain products that my company makes - but even though I can get stuff for cheaper than Walmart, I don't buy what I know I won't eat - even when it is only $0.50. Sorry for the insanely long post. It is a rare reality show in which I actually have usable background info.
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#104

FlockRapid

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Posted Jan 2, 2011 @ 11:42 AM

Serious question, but why are LDS people known for "stockpiling" their food? Is it for religious reasons? Money reasons?


As I understand it (I'm not LDS) it is religious. God wants members of the LDS to be self reliant and self sufficent. There's a variety of reasons for that (the LDS Church has been suppressed at times). LDS families are counseled to have a years worth of food stored and water and fuel if possible. However, this isn't *required* and their food storage tends to be more along the lines of staples and they're usually buying staples in bulk storage lots. The average LDS member with a food stockpile isn't going to load up on candy bars and gatoraide.
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#105

Cuppiediva

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Posted Jan 2, 2011 @ 12:37 PM

Wormlegs, thank you for the very interesting post. The things I learn on this site !
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#106

WhyTheFace

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Posted Jan 2, 2011 @ 1:22 PM

I live in the South and the stores Bi-lo, Bloom, Harris Teeter, and Lowes Foods, all double coupons without restrictions, unless the coupon itself states it, and every so often Harris Teeter and Bloom offer to double coupons up to $1.99 and Harris Teeter has even done tripling offers as well. But I know this practice elsewhere is fairly rare but if you clip coupons and have that added help at the store the savings really can add up fairly quickly but without having to do all that these people do. Most of what they do is just purely excessive and wasteful too, but they are definitely a small, very small group because I don't see stores or coupon producers reacting in a way that says they see these individuals as a threat or really even notice them. If anything the manager of the one store they shop at is probably the one who is really left annoyed and put out because they have to restock their store that much more often, probably hand out rain checks too to other customers, and also send in all those coupons.
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#107

aliyameadow

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Posted Jan 2, 2011 @ 2:10 PM

Thanks, wormlegs. If you stay on TWOP long enough, you will learn anything you need to know!

Regarding food storage, I am considering converting, so I don't know all the nuts and bolts, but I do know that the LDS Church has considered modern space limitations and problems with storage in developing countries (these days, most LDS live outside the US) and suggests that 3 months storage is OK. As a widow with a grown son who's in and out of the house, a year would be a bit much, but 3 months is very doable storage-wise whether you are in a house or an apartment, and you don't get the issues with pest infestation or spoiled food - you're using your food, only buying what your family normally eats, and you are rotating your storage. I stored about 3 weeks of food anyway (again, bad weather, icy roads, etc can make you seriously consider at least a little food storage), so gradually amping it up to 3 months is not a big deal

Re moving food, my new neighbors are LDS and moved their storage here with them. One issue for some of the LDS around me is that there are a lot of grad students. Isn't it comforting to know you have food put aside and don't have to eat ramen 3 nights in a row 'cause you're living on a grad stipend?
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#108

moreorlessnu

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Posted Jan 2, 2011 @ 2:22 PM

Very interesting Wormlegs!

I have to assume that the trade off for the store, is the nuisance versus the free advertisement versus (in Nathan's case), essentially donating 1100 boxes of (pretty nutritious) cereal to a local food pantry.

In both Amanda's and Nathan's case, there's an element of 'look at me!". Have you ever held up a checkout line w/ a coupon or 2 that didn't go through, or an item that range up too high to let it go, and didn't you want to sink into the floor when the people behind you gave you the stink eye? Nathan seemed to strut into the store as though he was a local celebrity, and, on some level, Amanda must like the attention too, or she could have shopped at a time when the store wasn't very busy.

As a humorous aside, today's Sunday papers have that 50 cents coupon off of Yakosoba noodles. In the spirit of Extreme Couponing, I clipped, it and will pick up 1 or 2 packages (I get 2 papers so I have 2 coupons) but only if I can get them for free.
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#109

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Posted Jan 2, 2011 @ 3:22 PM

Re: stockpiling - many of my friends who work for a big flour manufacturer keep their flour in the freezer. There are absolutely bugs that can live in already processed food so if you don't use it quickly (within a few months) or keep it airtight, I would put it in the freezer. The storage room in the garage made me want to hurl - maybe because I always have vague creepy crawlies in my garage.

I remember there was an incident last year sometime on one of the forums I frequent, where a woman used Bisquick she had stockpiled and her son got very sick. It was old and past the expiration date, but she got it for 50 cents 6 months prior! Seriously, processed foods have expiration dates for a reason. This is why I have a strict "only stockpile non-perishables" policy.

Also, I read that Nathan would sell his booty on e-bay (just took it down when the show aired) and that is how he got out of debt. I doubt he paid taxes on any of the things he sold and that pisses me off even more! My hubby and I pay a lot of taxes, this month we have to pay 4k, and tax evaders piss me off. These people (with the exception of Joyce and Joanie) seem just greedy and gluttonous jerks.

Well, that's ridiculous. He ruins it for those of us who want to buy maybe 2-3 of the item, so that we're good until the next sale. And really, cereal coupons/sales are out there every other week. I don't care if you love Total cereal, there is no reason to need 3 months supply, unless you have 10 people in the family. Nor do you need 40 years worth of toilet paper, ever. I just sit there and think about how many trees have been used to make it, only to sit in Amanda's garage.

Edited by chic_girl85, Jan 2, 2011 @ 3:22 PM.

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#110

kitkat4

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Posted Jan 3, 2011 @ 12:21 AM

As a humorous aside, today's Sunday papers have that 50 cents coupon off of Yakosoba noodles. In the spirit of Extreme Couponing, I clipped, it and will pick up 1 or 2 packages (I get 2 papers so I have 2 coupons) but only if I can get them for free.

I laughed when I saw that coupon too. I got 2 of those things free last time they had the 50cent coupon. Love double coupons :-) I would never have bought it without the coupon though. I think my son ate them(he will eat anything)

About Amanda not knowing the register will only take a certain amount of coupons or transactions... I was in line behind a lady at Walmart not long ago and they had to get supervisor override because she had so many coupons. I think the cashier said it would only do 30 at a time(thats the number that sticks in my head). I didnt know there was a limit either until I saw it happen(and the lady had a coupon for almost everything in the cart). But if Amanda regularly uses a ton of coupons then she would have to have known.

I find this show interesting. I use coupons and get some great deals and it really is cool to get some free things here and there. I found buy one get one free Schick disposable razors at Kroger last month and had like 4 $2off coupons and it was like OMG! I was so excited. But I think there is a line when you cross over into crazy hoarder territory, just stockpiling things you dont even use just because you can. It turns into an obsession to try to see how much you can get with some of those folks.
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#111

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Posted Jan 3, 2011 @ 2:07 AM

One more thing, that gayish guy said "strategy" at least 8 times during the show, did anyone else notice this? Besides his coming-out coupon, he needs a thesaurus coupon, because the "strategy" thing was annoying. Also, we have all talked about Total cereal quite often since this show, that was very smart of the Total cereal people. Product placement planted in our brains! I plan to buy no Total cereal or Yakasoba (sp, who cares) And I don't believe that Amanda donated all those candy bars, she paid 70 bucks for the candy bar coupons and I doubt she ordered all those coupons just to give the candy away.
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#112

moreorlessnu

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Posted Jan 3, 2011 @ 8:36 PM

...said "strategy" at least 8 times during the show, did anyone else notice this? ...he needs a thesaurus coupon, because the "strategy" thing was annoying


But, for him it is a strategy and it is a business. If it's true that couponing (and re-selling) allowed Nathan to get rid of his $15k debt, then, for him, it was a strategic business move.
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#113

buttermlksundae

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Posted Jan 3, 2011 @ 10:53 PM

moreorlessnu- sorry, I don't know how to bold or if i did that right. I get that it's a strategy for Nathan, the re-selling, etc. I am just saying he should use a different word than strategy, because he says it constantly. He could say game, or game plan, or tactic or something other than strategy. MY strategy is to buy what I need and not use it for resale to not pay taxes on. The more I watch their frugal tv clips, the more annoyed I get. I guess we could all use coupons to get stuff free and then re-sell it but I hope we are all honest enough not to. Again, if I came to my local grocer and found out that the one bottle of salad dressing I needed for dinner tonight had been cleared by some wacky couponer, I would be severely annoyed. Nathan and Amanda look unhealthy and should maybe use their saving on fruits and veggies.

ETA - I did do that bold thing right, right on!
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#114

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Posted Jan 4, 2011 @ 1:06 AM

As for Joanie--I imagine she's a SAHM, and I've heard SAHMs mention that one of their jobs is figuring out how to cut corners so they can live and try to be comfortable on one salary.


Its actually not that hard, you "stockpile" CASH by not spending it on crap you dont need.
Cash is quite easy to store and doesnt spoil.
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#115

beezer

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Posted Jan 4, 2011 @ 2:19 AM

Its actually not that hard, you "stockpile" CASH by not spending it on crap you dont need.
Cash is quite easy to store and doesnt spoil.

So much this. I do have a little 'stockpile,' of stuff, but it's very varied, it's 99% stuff I use regularly (the stuff I don't is stuff like a box of egg substitute and a single package of powdered milk) and it's like, three or four cans of beans, multi-pack of Bounty, etc. The woman with the 1,000 lbs of food she explained they dipped into that ONE TIME? How much better off would they have been if they had the money they'd 'invested' in that garage full of crap in a savings account that they could have dipped into when her husband was out of work?

If they had, they could have bought real food (I've considered coupons too but they seem to be mostly for boxed crap and stuff I don't use and stuff I do, like Bounty, the coupons are tiny [and not that I doubt they're someplace but I've never seen a store in NYC that doubles coupons]) that could have been bought cheaply and sustained them better than soda, 'juices,' boxes of whatever.

Someone needs to tell her that she could buy a big sack of potatoes for the price she paid for the soda.

All three of them, save the sane one, need to learn that little lesson - I think a lot of the stuff they bought is just bad - if they're eating 100 Butterfingers because they're cheap, that's not brilliant. If they're just hoarding 100 Butterfingers and not ever eating them after paying for them (I know she said they got them for free but she paid for those coupons, however little), also not brilliant.

I too am grossed out by the guy reselling the stuff. It's not illegal or anything but the cost is being passed down to the rest of us. The store may get $.08 back plus their cost from the manufacturer but then the manufacturer is making less and will then up the wholesale cost. There's no way that it's just eaten by the corporations, no matter if it's a small percentage. Given that the guy runs the site, the first woman was all over webpages devoted, the loony moving woman too, it can't be that small, especially given their quantities.

The first woman, dumping that pasta in the room, was so on about how much joy she got looking at her hoard. How is that not a clue to her or her husband that something is off? If you can say that you give up time you'd like to spend with your family and friends to shop for anything because it gives you so much overwhelming joy to look at a room filled with Tide and pasta you'll never use? That's not normal. And not not normal like everyone has their quirks, not normal like seek therapy not normal.

Edited by beezer, Jan 4, 2011 @ 2:22 AM.

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#116

cherbitrary

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Posted Jan 4, 2011 @ 6:44 AM

Regarding Joanie & family only dipping into the stockpile one time - I'm pretty sure she talked about using it regularly - that she had it organized by expiration date and rotated the food to make sure things got used. Specifically, I remember her mentioning that her husband knew which cereal he was supposed to use next based on expiration. She did say that while he was out of work they relied on the stockpile to get them through, but not that it was the only time it got used.
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#117

nolagirl24

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Posted Jan 4, 2011 @ 10:30 AM

I see the appeal of this "couponing" practice and feel like its best use would be in some sort of charity venture. There is absolutely no reason that woman needed all that food in her house and she could have easily donated it to a food pantry, or hell, even started her own food pantry. For her, hoarding is obviously a factor, but maybe for someone who gets the rush solely off of the thrill of the shopping/buying experience it might actually be a great idea.
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#118

Suz at Large

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Posted Jan 4, 2011 @ 11:36 AM

Regarding Joanie & family only dipping into the stockpile one time - I'm pretty sure she talked about using it regularly - that she had it organized by expiration date and rotated the food to make sure things got used. Specifically, I remember her mentioning that her husband knew which cereal he was supposed to use next based on expiration. She did say that while he was out of work they relied on the stockpile to get them through, but not that it was the only time it got used.

cherbitrary, thanks for posting this. That was also my recollection of Joanie's segment. She seemed very in control of that stockpile and I remember giving her a nod for keeping up with it and using it as part of regularly feeding the family. As opposed to crazy hoarder Amanda who was just compulsively adding to a hoard of purchased items with no apparent interest in them after they were stacked on shelves at home (and insured), and probably left to disintegrate in place.
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#119

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Posted Jan 4, 2011 @ 12:01 PM

Regarding Joanie & family only dipping into the stockpile one time - I'm pretty sure she talked about using it regularly - that she had it organized by expiration date and rotated the food to make sure things got used. Specifically, I remember her mentioning that her husband knew which cereal he was supposed to use next based on expiration. She did say that while he was out of work they relied on the stockpile to get them through, but not that it was the only time it got used.


That was how I heard it. Normally they eat from it and then replenish what they've eaten with more sales/coupons. When her husband was out of work they were eating from it without buying more to replace what they'd eaten.

It's not hard to save a significant amount of money and not end up with a house full of Butterfingers if you follow a few guidelines.

1) Never have more on hand than you can eat/use before it goes bad. Amanda fails here, theoretically she could eat all that pasta before it goes bad since dried pasta has a pretty long shelf life (the oldest box in my stockpile has an expiry of April 2013) but since she's not using it and not storing it in a way that lets her know which box expires first it will likely all go to waste. Same with the boxes of face stuff/shampoo/etc; The plastic is going to degrade and crack and they're going to leak everywhere.

2) Know the cost of gas and how much you're using to make spur of the moment trips. Again, Amanda fails. One thing you are prepared for is the possibility that whatever you're going for might not be there or there might not be as many as you want. Spending $5 in gas for a trip that turns out to be a bust is a waste.

3) Only stockpile stuff that you're actually going to want to use. There are certain things I keep stockpiles of (laundry soap, tp, pasta, canned soup, various forms of Cheerios, apple juice) because those are staples in our house. If you're forcing yourself to eat Yakisoba noodles and drink Gatorade everyday because you got 57 boxes and 300 bottles for free then it has stopped being a deal.

4) Consider how much you value the space that is being used for storage. I can't tell you how much I would love another bedroom and if you were to plop one on my house tomorrow I sure as hell wouldn't be using it for stockpile storage the way Amanda is. For me, additional living space is worth more than the potential savings of a bigger storage area. Amanda obviously feels differently but that's where it gets tricky since her stuff is now spilling out and taking up residence in her husband's space and he doesn't see it the same way she does.

One thing I've noticed is that I have to be very disciplined when it comes to coupons/stockpiling. I mentioned earlier that I have a 4 month supply of tp. I have 2 shelves on a unit in the basement where tp is stored and I can only buy what will fit on those 2 shelves, which is 4 months worth. It doesn't mater how good the deal is, if I only have enough room on the shelf for 1 pack then that's all I can buy. I have the same rules for everything I stockpile. Amanda has no discipline whatsoever, she had no room in her stockpile for more pasta which should have been a sign that she didn't need to buy any but she just couldn't resist getting 212 boxes anyway. Nathan's shopping trip was nuts but this is a business for him. Amanda was the one I think has a serious problem.
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#120

moreorlessnu

moreorlessnu

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 4, 2011 @ 12:09 PM

with no apparent interest in them after they were stacked on shelves at home (and insured), and probably left to disintegrate in place


This.

If someone has worked at a food pantry, please jump in and correct me. I'm guessing sorting and distributing the food takes some amount of time. I'm guessing that not every family who receives a bag of food today cooks the whole pound of pasta tonight. I'm guessing that some families who receive food from a food pantry might use it to augment their other means of obtaining groceries, so they might cook pasta (or whatever) only periodically. This means that pasta that's donated when it's a few months away from expiration may ultimately go bad before it's used up by people who otherwise could have/would have used it up prior to its expiration if it hadn't been hoarded.
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